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Discussion in 'Significant Other Journals' started by DefendMyHeart, Nov 14, 2020.
How was your husband's childhood?
It was one filled with a whole lot of lies, yelling, contradictions, manipulation, and anger. Lots and lots of anger from both the men and women in his family. It was so much so, that he genuinely thought I was supposed to yell at him and order him around because that was what was associated as a marriage. When I didn't do that, he thought I didn't really like him. It took a long time for him to see that what he grew up with was not normal, and he held a lot of resentment toward me for revealing that to him. The resentment was because he didn't want to see the truth nor did he want others to see it. He held his family in such high regard, that they do no wrong, are perfect, etc. That it was a mighty horse to fall from. And he fell hard. Once he started looking past the surface then he was able to see how his family functioning is not conducive to learning to actually feel love. He has gotten involved with eastern practices over these last few months because those practices have helped him break things down even further so he can heal from it. This is important so it is not passed into our children.
He had a lot of trauma in his childhood as well. I'm aware how he is today is due to the connections made during development. That is why I wasn't surprised to hear him say he didn't feel love towards me. He doesn't know what love is because he's never experienced it. Now that he is healing from intergenerational trauma, maybe he will learn that eventually.
Thanks A Lot Ma'am, this connected some of my dots.
This is a very sad thing.
I had a job interview yesterday over the phone. It was for a research position in a company who seems to share a lot of similar views. The interview was slotted for 30 minutes but only took about 20. I'm not sure if that was a good thing or not, but they said they'll let me know in a few weeks either way.
So my job search continues.
I have put in nearly 50 applications, several of them for positions in government. If I am offered those, we may have to relocate for me to continue them, but for now, they are offered as remote positions.
Although the idea of moving to another state seems nice, my husband and I were discussing how it would impact our kids, mostly our youngest. She is in all sorts of therapies and by moving, she would have to start all over with different providers. I worry about how well she would be able to adjust because she doesn't do well with change. Another part of me worries about this because if I am the one working, that means my husband will be the one taking our daughter to therapy. With what has occurred in the past, this is a source of anxiety for me.
I'm torn between wanting a better financial life with possible chaos and a financially unstable but calm one. It would be ideal to pull the best qualities from both lives and put them together, but that isn't a possibility. At least, not right now. My worry is my husband is going to find himself in a state of mind around new therapists that leaves us with either withdrawing our daughter from them, or continuing despite how he feels knowing it could continue to build and build. I wish there was an easier way.
One of the things my husband has mentioned several times in the past is how bad he feels about making me miss opportunities because of his problem. My academic goal had to change several times because of his issues. I was accepted into a very good college for a field of study I really wanted only to have to turn it down. So I adjusted to a different path that had similar material, but had to turn that down as well. Now I'm looking at the possibility of turning down jobs because of how he is. Part of me wants to just throw my hands up and just let things go as they're going to go with a "this may end our marriage but it is a chance we have to take" mindset. It is a little stressful especially since we would be in unfamiliar surroundings.
I will have to just wait and see what happens I suppose. Theres always a chance I will be accepted for something here, and there's a chance I will not be accepted at all for anything.
Do what’s best for you and the kids. If your husband were not in the picture, what would your decision be? He could relapse today. He controls that no matter what decision you make. Either way you will have stress in your life. Change- but financially stable , stay the same but financially unstable, both have stress in different ways. What’s the best choice for you?
That's the thing though.. if he develops the same problem with new therapists that he had in the past with her current therapists, it will mess up her therapy to the point where she won't be able to go comfortably.
The thing about my daughter is she is very sensitive to disruptions. If her dad is drooling over her therapist, she won't participate and will melt down.
This is a big reason it has taken her as long as it has to start making improvements in functioning. A relapse would be the complete end of our marriage, granted, but it could also mean the end of her support because I would either have to take her there myself and quit working, or she couldn't go at all. That is the conundrum and what makes the decision so hard. If it were just between me and him, the choice would be what was best for my kids without concern for what he may or may not do. Does that make sense?
Yes, I agree. Only you can decide what’s best for you and daughter. Myself, I need financial security, it’s just who I am. It’s why I went through college and got my degrees and why I also backed it up with several different trades. Are there any positions near where you live now? Also, why would the end of your marriage mean he wouldn’t help with your daughter? She’s his daughter too right? Or maybe not? The whole reason I didn’t divorce my husband was because he would have 50% custody,so staying meant I had control over his influence/actions with the kids lol. Only you can know the answer though, you know your daughter, your husband and yourself.
There's no jobs in my area, but some that are a few hours away that I've applied to. Now, some of these in other places are remote so there's a chance we can just stay where we are at.
Yes, she is his daughter too. And he could still help yes, but if he screws up the therapy stuff, then he wouldn't be able to. When he relapsed last August and started sexulaizing her speech therapist, it sent her progress way back. She would go back and forth between wanting to play with her therapist to not wanting anything to do with her, both of which involved a whole lot of screaming and self harm behaviors. When he finally realized the turmoil, he straightened himself back up and quit fantasizing about her. Which is what I hope he does with any future therapist because he saw how badly it hurt his daughter.
I'm probably thinking way too much about all of this honestly. I don't want it to negativity impact a chance for financial security. He's just going to have to be on board for her sake whether he likes it or not lol
I had an interesting discovery yesterday.
I was updating my indeed profile on my tablet and couldn't locate my resume. It just had my very generic, somewhat outdated, indeed profile information that I threw together a few years ago. I wanted to update it with my current info, but since I wanted it to match my uploaded resume, I needed to find out where it was located. Since I couldn't see it on my tablet, I logged onto my computer. Oh, there it is. But, now I can't find my "thrown together" information. Since I can't seem to locate the page, I get back on my tablet and send myself a link to the page. Opened it on my computer and it was just showing as a resume that I was unable to do anything with but view. Then it dawned on me. I've had employers contact me through both my emails. I figured at the time it was ones who looked at my resume vs ones who didn't.
So I go into the profile information on my tablet and computer and discover that I somehow managed to set up two separate accounts.
Why is this important?
The two jobs that contacted me saying they were not considering me for anything received this outdated resume from indeed when I applied. The ones who have been contacting me received my actual resume.
I'm laughing. I tell my husband about this and he gets mad. He's mad because, as he put it, had he done something similar he would have been embarrassed and he didn't understand why I wasn't. To me it was funny because I basically told these employers "hey look, I have a bunch of experience in a completely unrelated field and haven't done anything since 2016, but please hire me for this senior position".
Anyway, now it's fixed.
It is now a few days shy of being the 1 year mark in my husbands recovery. Almost one year since the last time he crushed everything internally that I felt for him, choosing instead to watch porn and sexualize and fantasize about every woman we came in contact with, as well as all the ones he actively sought out on the internet (looking up pictures of naked women, etc.).
We view recovery differently. Where he is happy about his accomplishment, I am reminded of the damage and pain he caused. Part of me wants to be happy for him because I know this is a tough addiction to beat, but the other part of me still sees the side of him that didn't care, didn't put any effort into his recovery, and could care less about my existence short of what it was I could provide for him.
For the first 7 years of our marriage, I was basically nothing to him. His attention toward me was short-lived, and pleasure seeking. He didn't put real work into the marriage nor did he want to. He felt he deserved the best of the best, and if I couldn't provide it for him, he would seek it elsewhere.
One year later and it still hurts. He would be 3 years in had it not been for his relapse last August. I wonder how different things would have been between us had that not happened. I can't say that we wouldn't have found this website had he not relapsed because I had already embarked on the journey of researching this addiction. My interview with another researcher was already in the works before he told me what he had done. He likes to think that his relapse is what brought us here, almost as though it was justified in some alternate universe scenario. Perhaps he needed to hear about it from another doctor to take it serious enough for himself to see that he did in fact, have a problem.
I know he has people he talks to regularly on here, and I know that other members on here will help him celebrate his sobriety, so it isn't as though he would lack that support. I suppose I should be thankful that he is trying to change, but it is difficult when you're bitter about it. He knew during his 2 year streak how much he hurt me but he continued to indulge in fantasy and we almost split up more times than I can count because he would get so hooked on other women.
Day by day, once again.
I think with this addiction it will always be day by day. Much like food addiction , it’s easy, and their urges are tied to a natural function. However, once they are in recovery, the changes make life so much easier and absolutely enjoyable. Like getting a whole new man! So much better!
He made it to the 1 year mark a few days ago.
For the last few weeks, him and I have both had our share of episodes of sadness. It is remarkable how just a simple date on the calendar can have an impact on you. He struggled with urges and I struggled with anger toward him. These feelings were more intense than they had been a few months ago, so it only makes sense it was due to the anniversary of D-day. We talked about it and decided that this should be a time where we actively rewire thoughts and feelings associated with this time of year in hopes that future anniversaries will not impact us so negatively. Hopefully this works.
Today was my last session with my therapist. I had a feeling it was coming because there hasn't been too much that she's had to help me work through. I had an odd feeling before I left and asked my husband if he had done anything in the last few days because I figured if he had, at least I would be in therapy shortly after seeing it. He didn't get back with me until the session started and he confessed some stuff. I read the texts out loud to her, but didn't have any reaction to it at all. She said that she feels I've reached the point where I can effectively manage my own emotions once again, and I agree with her. Although what he told me bothers me a bit and is a bit triggering, it isnt debilitating.
I started my part time job not that long ago and the work has been extremely tedious. I feel like it is going to give me a lot of experience for future jobs, but at the same time, that doesn't help me find something full time for now. Hopefully something comes up soon.
Working on my dissertation has given me some major insight into different components of addiction that hasn't been researched as of yet. I feel as though if I am able to build a solid case, then this new information can eventually be implemented into the current addiction curriculum at my school so that new counselors can learn it and use it to help addicts.
Not much else has been going on lately. Our schedule has been pretty packed with the same stuff we've had going on for a long time now, so nothing new in that area.
I suppose I should get back to preparing for my upcoming meeting. I wanted to post an update in case anyone was interested since it had been awhile.
"If you change what you tell yourself about an issue, without addressing the underlying cause, you are simply creating a game of Whack-A-Mole."
I spoke to another professional in the field of sex addiction research and the quote above is from one of the websites she provided me about treatment.
Addiction is a symptom of something else, which is something a lot of people are aware of. The escape into the addiction is a maladaptive coping mechanism. If the underlying issue continues to go unaddressed, one would simply find a new maladaptive coping mechanism to substitute the one they no longer have.
When I look back at my husbands recovery process, his viewing of pornography was simply a coping mechanism. I had to remove myself as much as possible from what he was doing to address it in other ways, which was very difficult to do. Being his wife, of course there was bias, anger, resentment, etc. However, I was determined to get him to look deeper into himself, even if it destroyed me or destroyed the marriage.
When porn was no longer a choice for him, he started to escape into the real world with real life women, which of course hurt tremendously. He would fantasize about them and become attached to their image. All that was occurring during that time was another escape because the underlying issues were still going unaddressed.
So we worked on them. We went all the way back into his childhood and teen years and talked about just about everything there was to talk about related to negative feelings he had. It took a lot of force at times because we had to break down barriers that had been standing for nearly 30 years. He was angry with me, he resented me, but I persisted. I would call out his actions and tell him how it related to this trauma or that trauma from childhood. It took a lot of effort, time, and patience to get him to finally look inward, but he finally did it around 2 years after we started. It took his relapse for him to finally see what the connections were between his addiction and his childhood. Once that came about, his real recovery work could start.
A lot of therapy addresses things In a top-down method. To address a maladaptive coping mechanism, there needs to be both top-down and bottom-up approaches, which is what we had been doing for several years. Instead of asking him "what's wrong with you?" The question instead would be "why do you feel this way? What feelings brought you to this moment? How did you survive this in the past?" Then there was validation "I can see and understand why you would do this or that. I can see how this or that would hurt you. Let's explore this or that and see if we can analyze it to help change our thought patterns".
None of this was easy. I know I have talked about how I helped my husband in his recovery by using my background knowledge in psychology, neuroscience, and therapy, but I never really gave many details as to what I did. If all that is being addressed is the addiction, then there isn't really any healing. It is no different than giving someone heart medication to prevent a heart attack but ignoring the junk food diet they eat. You may be able to control the symptoms for awhile, but eventually it will lead to a heart attack.
Can You Recommend some Books Related to Psychology and Neuroscience?
There's a ton that I've gone through. What I used to help my husband was a compilation of several techniques and methods.
When I get to my computer, I will PM you some articles you may find helpful, plus the titles of books that I have to get you started.
My husband has been in a state of turmoil over these last few weeks. Usually, I ignore it and allow him the opportunity to figure things out on his own, or at least, this is something I have been doing for these last few months because I feel like he needs his space. However, whenever these dysfunctional behaviors start to manifest themselves in ways that impact other people in the home, I step in to help troubleshoot and find a solution.
I've suspected for quite some time that my husband has undiagnosed ADHD. This suspicion is based on years of observation of his behavior. I purchased him certain supplements that were designed specifically for ADHD to test my hypothesis, and after taking them for a few weeks, his dysfunctional behaviors decreased substantially and he was able to function better. These supplements were in conjunction with behavioral techniques that I would teach him and based on different theories of psychology. After he started to feel better and function better, I informed him of my suspicion. I had him take an assessment (a very brief one) that further validated the ADHD hypothesis.
Over these last three weeks or so, he started to ration his supplements because he felt guilty about purchasing more of them. He felt as long as he took them sometimes, that he should be able to manage himself through. As evidence of these last few weeks have shown, his dysfunctional behaviors have returned, which also include, the inability to reason. He's got a mighty ego upon a high horse from which a fall could seriously injure him. So I had to explain it in a different way of why he needed the supplements. It was through this way that he was receptive and willing to continue to take them.
Not wanting help, or thinking you need to handle everything yourself is a trauma response. It is a result of insecure attachment in some form. Although the memories of why the brain is wired in this particular way may not be known, the actions and responses that facilitate this way of thinking becomes attributed to other things over time. It is believed that if you need help from someone or something, then you are not strong in some form or fashion. The truth of the matter is that it takes a great deal of strength to ask for help because it requires suspension of the ego to do so. This is something my husband has a very difficult time with because he has convinced himself over the years that he is on his own, and he needs to do things on his own. This also enhances his struggle and his need to find an escape.
I can only hope at some point he is able to come to terms with the fact that he is not a-part from this family, rather apart of it, and his struggles become the struggles of those around him. It has taken seven years for him to come to terms with the fact that I am not his enemy, nor am I against him. There are many times I have thought he would be better off without us, not because of his struggles, but because at times he tends to see us as more of a burden to his unfulfilled life.
Neurons that fire together, wire together.
This is something I've spoken with my husband about since the beginning of his recovery. It is finally starting to make sense to him now. Evidently he's been in a state of struggle every morning (mornings are when he used to PMO) and this has been ongoing for the last 3 years. That part didn't make sense to me because the struggle should be easier, especially given all he's done for recovery. So now we have another thing to address, which is the underlying reason of why he is still holding onto these fantasy in the morning.
He finally brought to down to the fact that since struggles with self esteem issues, he sometimes allows the fantasy to play out on its own. So now, since there is a rewarding component to it, it explains why he still struggles. However, why is he worried about how these other women look at him if he's already married? Trauma. Being rejected so much when he was younger created trauma that impacted his self esteem, and his unconscious way of taking control of the situation was to fantasize in such a way that he was wanted, needed, and most importantly, in control of the interaction.
So he tells me on one hand that he doesn't want to fantasize about other women. Yet, on the other hand he actually does. This created an internal struggle where the only thing that would get him out of the fantasy was guilt. Of course this also is unproductive because guilt, anxiety, and arousal are all tied together so he is continuously feeding the beast, sorta speak. I told him he needs to remove me from the equation. His real struggle has to do with his trauma self and his healing self, not between what I want and what he wants. He seems to understand it better now, so hopefully it helps him continue on his journey of healing.